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The Final Cockdown: #24 D.J. Smith

Can the junior DB break through for the Gamecocks in 2016 and validate his recruiting hype?

NCAA Football: South Carolina at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

D.J. Smith

Defensive Back
5-11 / 195 lbs.
Marietta, GA


Widely considered a four-star recruit, and one of the better players out of the state of Georgia for his class, Smith choose South Carolina over Clemson, Georgia and Tennessee among numerous other FBS offers.

College Career

An earned career start his freshman season, and over 24 career appearances, Smith has primarily served on Special Teams, and has contributed to the back-line defense of the Gamecock secondary the past two seasons.

With 33 career tackles and zero interceptions, Smith’s on-field production, primarily on defense, hasn’t been the level necessary thus far to be a feared defensive back. That, said he’s only halfway through his eligibility. There’s still time.

2016 Outlook

It’s clear to me that the door’s open in Fall Camp and that the best, and most physical players will stick out to the coaches and earn the opportunity to play.

As one of the more widely-touted prospects on the Gamecocks roster, I’d expect that to come as good news to D.J. Smith. In all likelihood, most of the new coaching staff recruited the Marietta native and has some idea of his untapped potential.

As part of an underachieving secondary, Smith has the opportunity to become a core member of the unit for the next two years. I’m hoping the hype comes to life his third season on campus.